Ranking: Wesley Matthews chokes his way to eighth

We’re now in a steady post-season rotation zone with these rankings, and local producer Wesley Matthews is the next man to reach eighth, as chosen by Brew Hoop’s vote.


The eighth most important player in Milwaukee’s post-season success is…

This poll is closed

  • 3%

    Pat Connaughton

    (8 votes)

Total votes 236

vote now

A year older than Joe Ingles, who finished Matthews yesterday in ninth, former Marquette Golden Eagle signed with Milwaukee for another round of service for just over a month into the 2021-22 season after a gap year in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for him, this was the year the Bucks won a title, so he re-launched this season on a minimum of other veterans in pursuit of his first ring. The Lakers pushed him a bit more during that losing campaign, but this confluence of local state loyalty and more favorable tournament odds made it a no-brainer to take less money and go home.

Just as on his first assignment in Milwaukee in 2019-20, Matthews’ role with the current team revolves around his defensive prowess. While he was a more prolific goalscorer earlier in his career with Portland, the hamstring tear he suffered towards the end of his tenure there transformed him into a classic 3D role as he began his new contract in Dallas. Of course, Achilles tendon injuries are one of the most disastrous disasters that can plague a player in the NBA, so it made sense to downsize the role as Matthews moved into his 30s.

Fortunately for the Madison Memorial junior, any age-related injury or missteps in sports have not affected his trademark effective and physical peripheral defense on the ball. Mike Budenholzer felt a growing need to bring the aforementioned skill to his squad as playoffs loomed, so Matthews replaced Grayson Allen among the starters at the start of April, echoing the inclusion of PJ Tucker during the first round of 2021 and a reunion of 4/5 from the starting lineup for 2019.

Even at the age of 35, in addition to giving 2-4 inches to Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum, Matthews’ brute force was the best facing Milwaukee had for Boston’s All-Star Wings. His lateral foot speed was enough to keep up with players a decade younger than him, so without Bucks’ other main wing defender Chris Middleton, Matthews scored the third-most minutes (tied with Pat Connaughton) of any Buck in that second-round streak. .

I admit seeing Matthews take off before Allen surprised me a bit, given the negativity expressed by a vocal portion of the Bucks fan base toward the latter in the wake of an early playoff exit (more on that tomorrow). However, I see why people think Matthews could be a fringe piece next season. Age clearly tops the list of concerns here, but we have to acknowledge his shot dip as an element likely to keep him off the ground in a major playoff series. Averaged 5.7 PPG in the second round, Matthews shot just 33% of land and field after a regular season with a shot of .395/.338/.786, resulting in a 5.1 PPG.

Matthews’ role as a low volume cornerback certainly doesn’t change, which isn’t why he’s likely to continue receiving minutes. If the younger ones offer a similar value in defense while presenting Which On the other hand, Bud may pick the young even in a tough playoff. I wouldn’t dispute such a decision, but nevertheless, Matthews will probably see his pregnancy manage quite a bit during the regular season so Bud can call him a lot more in April…if he stays healthy.


Gut Check: How confident are you that Wesley Matthews will be in the playoff round?

  • 4%

    1 – Not at all in rotation.

    (5 votes)

  • 8%

    2 – You may play a few minutes alternating here and there.

    (10 votes)

  • 39%

    3 – He will get some minutes depending on the series.

    (47 votes)

  • 42%

    4 – Part of the rotation will be playing steadily for the minutes.

    (50 votes)

  • 5%

    5 – Firmly in the spin, playing with the heavy minutes!

    (6 votes)

118 votes

vote now

It seems quite obvious how the next round of voting will go, but I’ll leave this poll a little longer until tomorrow since I got to this Matthews article very late in the day (mea culpa).


The seventh most important player in Milwaukee’s post-season success is…

  • 73%

    Grayson Allen

    (101 votes)

  • 18%

    Pat Connaughton

    (25 votes)

138 votes total

vote now